Pune, Jun 3: Rail passengers celebrated 80th birthday of one of India's most loved trains, the Deccan Queen in honour of the train's 80 long years of service. The birthday was celebrated on Monday, Jun 1 in style.
Deccan Queen was started in 1930 on this very day of Jun. Although it started as a weekend train for the Britishers during their rule in India to ferry race fans from Mumbai to Pune it was soon converted to a daily service.
Passengers prefer travelling in their Deccan queen instead of fast express trains.
"Even after the express trains, we prefer travelling in Deccan Queen because it commutes at the right time. It is the fastest train and very beneficial for the pass holders," said Madhav Joshi, a daily commuter.
Deccan queen is one of the longest running trains of Indian Railways, which never ran on steam power. From the very beginning, Deccan Queen has been running with the help of electric locomotives. Occasionally, it was given diesel engines when original locomotives failed.
The train departs from Pune railway station towards Mumbai at 7.15 am and reaches Mumbai at 10.30 am. It departs from Mumbai the same day at 5.10 pm and reaches Pune Station at 8.25 pm.
The train covers a distance of 192 kilometres in one direction. Drivers of Indian Railways find it prestigious to drive the Deccan Queen.
"It (Deccan Queen) is very prestigious because it is known as Controller's train. Controller clears all the lines, giving it priority. So that is why it is very nice to work also. We enjoy working in this train," said Ashok Kumar Ghosh, chief driver of Deccan Queen.
Deccan Queen is the only train in India to get the ISO 9000 certification. It is the only short distance train to have a dining car also. It has sixteen coaches including the engine.